Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This perennial plant is 1½–4' tall, more or less erect, and unbranched. The central stem is light to medium green, terete, glabrous, and sometimes glaucous. The leaves usually occur in whorls of 3-7 along the stem, although some of the upper leaves may occur in pairs or they may alternate individually. Individual leaves are 2½–5" long and ¼–¾" across; they are elliptic in shape, smooth (entire) along their margins, and sessile or nearly so. Leaf venation is parallel. The upper leaf surface is medium green and glabrous, while the lower leaf surface is light-medium or whitish green, glabrous, and sometimes glaucous. Above the terminal leaves of the central stem, there are 1-6 nodding flowers on stalks about 4-8" long (one flower per stalk). These stalks are erect or ascending; they are light to medium green, terete, glabrous, and sometimes glaucous. Each showy flower is about 2-3" long and similarly across, consisting of 6 tepals, 6 stamens, and a pistil with a single style. The tepals are yellow-orange to orange-red, purple-spotted, lanceolate in shape, and strongly recurved; the tips of the tepals are located near the base of the flower. The stamens are strongly exserted and slightly spreading; their filaments are light green to nearly white, while their anthers are reddish brown, oblongoid or ellipsoid in shape, and less than ½" in length. The style is strongly exserted and curved slightly upward; it is light yellow to nearly white, except toward the slightly swollen tip, where it is tinted yellow to orange-red. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer, lasting about 1 month. There is no noticeable floral scent. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by seedpods. These seedpods are about 1½" long, oblongoid in shape, 3-celled, and glabrous; they split open into 3 parts to release their seeds. Mature seeds are brown, flattened, ovate-deltate in shape, and strongly winged along their margins. The thin papery wings enable the seeds to be carried some distance by gusts of wind. The root system consists of a yellow bulb with fibrous roots below, from which clonal offsets with new bulbs may form.
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Michigan Lily occurs in scattered counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is uncommon. Habitats include moist black soil prairies, openings in deciduous woodlands, thickets, Bur Oak savannas, moist meadows along rivers, swamps, fens, and prairie remnants along railroads. Michigan Lily is found in higher quality natural areas. Faunal Associations
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Ont.; Ark., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., Nebr., N.Y., Ohio, Okla., S.Dak., Tenn., Wis.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Bulbs usually yellowish, rhizomatous, unbranched, 1.6–5.8 × 4.9–14.1 cm, 0.3–0.5 times taller than long, 2 years’ growth evident as annual bulbs, scaleless sections between these 2.6–6.2 cm; scales unsegmented, longest 1–3 cm; stem roots present or absent. Stems to 1.9 m. Buds rounded in cross section. Leaves in 4–12 whorls or partial whorls, 3–13 leaves per whorl, ± horizontal or ascending in sun, drooping at tips, 4.6–15.3 × 0.6–2.3 cm, 3.5–13.7 times longer than wide; blade narrowly elliptic, occasionally linear or slightly lanceolate, margins not undulate, apex acute, acuminate in distal leaves; principal and some secondary veins impressed adaxially, veins and margins noticeably roughened abaxially with tiny ± deltoid epidermal spicules, especially on proximal leaves. Inflorescences racemose, 1–11-flowered. Flowers ± pendent, not fragrant; perianth Turk’s-cap-shaped; sepals and petals reflexed 1/4–2/5 along length from base, yellow-orange or sometimes orange-yellow or orange proximally, red-orange distally, with maroon, often large spots, red-orange or occasionally red or orange-red abaxially, not distinctly clawed; sepals not ridged abaxially, 5.5–9.3 × 1.2–2 cm; petals 5.3–9.1 × 1.5–2.2 cm; stamens moderately exserted; filaments parallel at first, then ± widely spreading, diverging 13°–23° from axis, pale yellow-green; anthers magenta or occasionally pink-magenta, 0.6–1.3 cm; pollen orange-rust, sometimes orange, rust, or rust-brown; pistil 3.4–6.5 cm; ovary 1.5–2.9 cm; style red entirely or only distally; pedicel 11–22 cm. Capsules 2.8–5 × 1.5–2.6 cm, 1.4–2.8 times longer than wide. Seeds not counted. 2n = 24.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Lilium canadense Linnaeus subsp. michiganense (Farwell) B. Boivin & Cody; L. canadense var. umbelliferum (Farwell) B. Boivin; L. michiganense var. umbelliferum Farwell; L. michiganense var. uniflorum Farwell
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Michigan Lily occurs in scattered counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is uncommon. Habitats include moist black soil prairies, openings in deciduous woodlands, thickets, Bur Oak savannas, moist meadows along rivers, swamps, fens, and prairie remnants along railroads. Michigan Lily is found in higher quality natural areas. Faunal Associations
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Tallgrass prairies, streamsides, swamps and bottoms, moist woodland edges, lakeshores, ditches along roads and railways, often calciphilic; 100--600m.
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Michigan Lily in Illinois

Lilium michiganense (Michigan Lily)
(Butterflies suck nectar; observations are from Robertson)

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus, Speyeria cybele; Papilionidae: Papilio troilus

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer (mid Jun--Jul).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Lilium michiganense

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lilium michiganense

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full to partial sun, rich loamy soil, and moist conditions. An established plant, however, can withstand some drought. Cultivation from seed is slow and difficult, while cultivation from bulbs or transplants is somewhat faster and easier. Plants that are spoiled with too much fertilizer and watering may flop over.
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Notes

Comments

Lilium michiganense and L. superbum as subspecies of L. canadense on the basis of overall similarity, though it is now well accepted that L. superbum does not belong there. There can be little doubt as to the close relationship between L. michiganense and L. canadense, however, and vegetatively the two are often indistinguishable. Hybrid intermediates occur across a wide band where the distributions meet in central Ohio and northwestern New York (R. M. Adams and W. J. Dress 1982). It would not be unreasonable to include L. grayi and treat them as subspecies, but floral differences among the three are comparable to those between other species in the genus. 

 Farwell’s proposed varieties uniflorum and umbelliferum were described from young plants with single flowers and umbellate inflorescences respectively, but young plants with these characteristics are found throughout the range of this species.  Plants examined from east-central Tennessee (e.g., Wayne and Coffee counties) that were previously referred to Lilium michiganense are L. superbum in some cases, in others L. canadense perhaps introgressed with L. michiganense.  The Michigan lily often co-occurs in tallgrass prairies with Lilium philadelphicum; here as everywhere it usually blooms much later. However, it flowers earlier than L. canadense where their ranges are contiguous in Ohio (E. L. Braun 1967).  Lilium michiganense is pollinated primarily by swallowtail butterflies; in the southern part of its range these include the pipevine [Battus philenor (Linnaeus), family Papilionidae]. Great spangled fritillaries [Speyeria cybele (Fabricius), family Nymphalidae] also visit this species and carry its pollen, though it is unlikely that this brushfooted butterfly is a major pollinator.

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